We’ve got a ton of things that we have to get accomplished before the winter sets in. The first one being, hubby has to clean off our house siding. Just one side, as it gets the most hits from the weather. I didn’t take a before shot, but trust me, the side was full of ugly green mold, black dirt etc. You can still see some of that dirt on the upper half of the side.

One of the nicest things about vinyl siding is that it cleans up so beautifully. We thought of hiring back the company that did a whole house cleaning two years ago but he wanted $185 just to do this one side. For $20 hubby bought some organic cleaner (safe for humans and vegetation) and did the work himself.

I’ve got myself set up to sew up a bunch of aprons for Christmas presents. My granddaughters are getting rainbow aprons, my SIL is getting a BBQ apron, my sister is getting an apron made from canvas material that highlights Paris and the Eiffel Tower. I got this really great deal on cotton canvas fabric that is just perfect as apron quality. I bought some extra material in a kitcheny-style which would also be perfect for an apron. I’m reserving that to see how things turn out. So far, I spent just $30 for all of this material!

I got a great deal on peaches from a local farmer here. Apparently most of my neighbors peach trees were also robbed blind by the squirrels. My neighbor has three mature peach trees and the squirrels ate every one of his peaches as they did mine. Next year we will need to put netting over our peach trees. One of the reasons my neighbor came up with for the squirrels behavior was because of our drought. The squirrels needed some moisture and the peaches solved their problem. Oh well. There’s always next year. In the interim, lots more peach pies baked (I gave some away to friends and neighbors) and jars of preserved peaches (just perfect over yogurt or vanilla ice cream!).

I got a great deal on both chicken thighs and chicken legs at $1.25 a pound. I bought several packs (of either 10 legs or 10 thighs per pack) and froze them in zip lock freezer packs of 4 each. Hubby is getting very creative cooking up either the thighs or the legs. Since we’re not using our stove this hot summer, he’s learned how to cook the chicken parts over the gas grill in a cast iron pan. Serve with a side of farm fresh corn-on-the-cob. Delish!

Not to think all is sacrifice and hard work, we’ve saved up enough grocery money so that we were able to splurge on a steak sale yet once again. Marked down to only $5.99 a pound (from $8.99) for a NY Strip Steak (trust me! that’s a very good price) we bought three steaks. Two for now and one for later (in the freezer) Hubby cooked them on the grill. We just ate the steaks. No side dishes, that’s how hungry we were for real beef! LOL!!

It’s finally raining today. In fact it is supposed to rain ALL day and most of the night. Much of our lawn is brown and almost fully dead. Hubby gave up cutting the lawn weeks ago because the drought was so bad here. Our pond is super low and I really don’t think this one rain storm will show much of an improvement. But at least it is raining and it is sorely needed.

Here’s a shot of what’s left of my veggie square foot garden. Most of the cucumbers died, as did the peas and green beans due to the drought. No matter how much I watered, it was never enough for them. The air and the ground was just too dry.